Application Management on the Cloud

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Top 10 Myths About IPv6

Take a closer look at 10 myths and set the record straight about this enigmatic protocol.

Arthur Cole spoke with Steve Tack, CTO of Compuware.


The cloud may provide a dynamic and flexible infrastructure, but it will be of limited value if it fails to deliver the level of application performance that knowledge workers are accustomed to. For that reason, it will soon be the rare application performance management (APM) platform that does not provide integrated internal/cloud functionality. But as Compuware's Steve Tack points out, doing the cloud is one thing, doing it well is quite another.

Cole: Application performance is one of the most crucial aspects of IT. As more infrastructure makes its way to the cloud, however, is it reasonable for users to expect the same performance they've come to rely on from internal resources?
Tack: Users expect performance, period. IT's deployment strategies should never have an impact on the intended business outcome, and whether an application is hosted in a private data center or in the cloud is immaterial to a user. It is possible to deliver peak performance in the cloud, but this isn't something that just happens. It requires a sophisticated approach to APM. We're not talking about pieced-together monitoring tools of the past that took a sampling or infrastructure approach.

What is needed is an APM solution that provides an at-a-glance view of the entire breadth of the application delivery chain from the data center and cloud to the end-users' clicks, in real-time. This is what allows businesses to see when discrete elements of the application infrastructure are causing problems or are prone to create issues under greater traffic loads. With this insight throughout the application lifecycle, adjustments can be made in response to any issues that are identified - before they impact performance. This assures visitors will always experience peak performance.

Cole: Compuware recently extended support for IPv6 across its APM platform. What issues does this address as enterprises transition to the new protocol?
Tack: While the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 will provide unconstrained address growth and simplified network management, companies will now need to manage IPv4 and IPv6 interoperability and resolve performance variations between the two versions. This adds complexity at the edge of the Internet to the way browsers and devices connect and how services operate and are accessed. Organizations need to ensure quality user experience in the presence of IPv6, proactively testing their internal infrastructure, ISPs and CDNs extending to the user's browser.

Compuware APM now supports IPv6, as part of its ongoing commitment to ensure the quality and performance of Web, mobile and cloud applications regardless of the network used - IPv4 or IPv6. Customers can measure and manage applications on both IPv6 and IPv4 through the transition and resolve new issues that emerge on IPv6.

Cole: With public and hybrid clouds representing such diverse infrastructure, management and visibility will have to shift from the infrastructure level to the application level. What are some of the key differences in managing these distinct layers?
Tack: Everything in the cloud is about the application. Cloud-specific features like horizontal scaling allow applications to dynamically and elastically scale and deliver exceptional performance. While these capabilities promise greater agility and new efficiencies, they also necessitate a new approach to APM, and organizations are assessing the cloud-readiness of their management strategies.

Cloud applications have quickly become too dynamic for traditional APM systems, which require manual provisioning of virtual machines, dashboards and reporting systems. Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments necessitate automated application discovery and effective management to understand provider performance. IT operations and application support need auto-correlated analysis across cloud, virtual machine, hypervisor and application performance for faster and more precise triage. Finally, organizations need to understand the performance from the perspective of the user's experience to make management decisions.

Organizations need to look to APM solutions that are designed to dynamically adapt to changes anywhere within the cloud architecture.

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